United Nations
The Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Capacity Building Platform for the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals
by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) (United Nations entity)
The Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) came into existence in the margins of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010, with the support of the government of Japan, and in collaboration with various partners that were willing to contribute expertise as well as technical and financial resources.

In recognition of the urgent need to scale up capacity building support to facilitate the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in marine and coastal areas, SOI partners adopted the Action Plan for the Sustainable Ocean Initiative 2015-2020 at the SOI Global Partnership meeting in 2014 (available at: https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/mar/soiom-2014-02/official/soiom-2014-02-actionplan-en.pdf).

SOI represents a tangible commitment by a range of partners to enhance capacity building in an integrated way to improve conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity in support of the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals. In this way, efforts under SOI will contribute directly to the achievement of SDG 14 and other SDGs.

SOI focuses on achieving a balance between conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity by applying an action-oriented, holistic and integrated capacity-building framework. SOI is committed to building bridges between biodiversity conservation and resource management sectors. It has evolved as a global platform to build partnerships and enhance capacity to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals in marine and coastal areas by:
(a) Achieving a balance between conservation and sustainable use and the promotion of flexible and diverse approaches;
(b) Identifying best practices, facilitating information sharing, and learning from experiences;
(c) Creating partnerships that can provide for targeted capacity-building, training, technical assistance and learning exchange;
(d) Providing for two-way communication among policymakers, scientific communities and local stakeholders;
(e) Facilitating monitoring of progress towards achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals on marine and coastal biodiversity;
(f) Facilitating the provision of guidance and guidelines that will help their achievement;
(g) Improving the scientific basis for implementation.

The Sustainable Ocean Initiative was recognized by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 71/257 on oceans and the law of the sea (A/RES/71/257, paragraph 27).

Information on SOI is available at: www.cbd.int/soi
A film on SOI is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q6RiihseQ8
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Coastal carbon sinks/blue carbon
  • Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
Ongoing (1 per year)
SOI Training of Trainers
Ongoing (2 per year)
SOI national capacity building workshops
Ongoing (2 per year)
SOI regional capacity building workshops
Ongoing (Biennial)
SOI Global Partnership Meeting
In-kind contribution
All partners provide some form of in-kind contribution, whether it be hosting of workshops, training materials, information on relevant experiences, linkages to various types of web-based resources, etc.
Other, please specify
Interested CBD Parties, such as Japan, France and the Republic of Korea, provide financial resources to support SOI implementation; as partnerships and activities are continually being developed, the exact figure of financial contributions is changing.
Staff / Technical expertise
The CBD Secretariat provides staff support and technical expertise to coordinate the implementation of SOI.
Basic information
Time-frame: 10/2010 - Ongoing
SOI partners compose a range of global, regional or national institutions/programmes who share the vision of SOI and provide various types of contributions. Financial support is provided by the Government of Japan, through the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the Government of France, through the French MPA Agency/French Biodiversity Agency, and the Government of the Republic of Korea. In-kind contributions are provided by partners through, for example, contribution of scientific and technical expertise and materials, and hosting of workshops, among others. Previous and ongoing in-kind contributions are provided by China, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Namibia, Peru, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Senegal, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu through hosting of workshops; technical support provided by UN Environment, FAO, Australia (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), Germany (through Blue Solutions), Monaco (through Monaco Blue Initiative), Republic of Korea (Korea Maritime Institute, Korea Environment Management Corporation), Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-UNESCO, regional seas organizations/regional fishery bodies/other relevant regional initiatives (such as Abidjan Convention, Partnership for Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme), IUCN-Fisheries Expert Group, MedPAN as well as other regional MPA networks, and many other partner organizations.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Developing countries , in particular least developed countries and small island developing States, and countries with economies in transition, benefit from SOI. SOI aims to support countries in achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable
Contact information
Jihyun Lee, Environmental Affairs Officer for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity, jihyun.lee@cbd.int, +1 514 288 2220
Montreal, Canada
Other SDGs
United Nations